Monday, December 1, 2008

Potential Disadvantages Using VRD

Well as we all know, nothing in this world is perfect. And Especially the new technologies. Even though the Virtual Retinal Display Technology is already used in military and medical industries (since those are the only ones that can afford to use it), it is still at a stage of development and is still very costly.
Already, there aspects of the VRD technology that can be somewhat disadvantageous in the future:

  1. Since the image is sent directly to the retina, there is no protection against radiation because the disitance between the source and the eye is very short. This may cause some damage to the retina and later result into blindness.
  2. As much as it can assist to the military industry, it wil still be a technology used by humans against humanity and therefore may do more harn then good.
  3. The image sent into the eye will surely intefere with the reality objects and can be distract the user when his attention is most needed.

Unfortunately the VRD technology is still not known and used enough to evaluate more accurately all the possible disadvantages, so instead let's try to consentrate on the positive side of it.


  1. Virtual Retinal Display Technology -
  2. What is Virtual Retinal Display? -
  3. The Virtual Retinal Display -

Advantages Using Virtual Retinal Display

Of course at the present period of time the VRD technology still needs much refinement and has only been commercialized in specialized sectors of the display market such as automobile repair and some parts of the military, but some time later it may be commonly used on daily basis. The MicroVision Inc., the principal detainee of the permit to commercialize this information technology suggests quite a few possibilities of this technology to be used in the Business and many other industries:

Imagine these new viewing experiences:
- Giving a speech while information is streamed to your eyeglasses in real time.
- Presenting to a crowd with your notes secretly stowed away in your eye glasses.
- Extending your everyday computing environment to include your eyewear display
- Walking down the street, seeing your favorite friends show up "on screen" 2 blocks and 1 cafe away
- Receiving turn by turn directions as you walk toward your destination
- Reviewing messages while on the go
- Creating your personal big screen experience from mobile TV and video (occluded or escape mode)
- Seeing building schematics and locations of others (especially useful for security or firefighters)
- Viewing virtual recipes while cooking without losing your rhythm



What is the Future of VRD?

This now growing technology have made quite a step since its launch some 15 years ago. What earlier seemed to be possible only in fiction movies slowly becomes reality. Already now an image streaming directly into a person's retina is not the edge of someones imagination, but a technology that is already used in medical and military purposes. It is still quite expensive and is far from being affordable by regular people but like any other emerging technology will soon become available in our daily lives.

There quite a few uses that this technology can be applied to. Television screens are used on
every step of our daily lives: cellphones, computers, televisions and much more. Now lets imagine browsing the Internet or watching a movie without having a screen in front of you but simply wearing, what looks from outside to be, a pair of glasses.

This technology can be potentially used to simplify the way to telecommunicate and reduce the number of physical screens now used on phones and computers. It has quite a few advantages and is capable of further be used in many different industries.

  1. Human Interface Technology Lab - Washington Technology Center
  2. The Virtual Retinal Display. -
  3. What is Virtual Retinal Display? -

What is Virtual Retinal Display?

A virtual retinal display (VRD), also known as a retinal scan display (RSD), is a new display technology that draws a raster display (like a television) directly onto the retina of the eye. What a person wearing VRD goggles sees is an image floating in space right in front of them. This image will not completely cover the real objects seen without the goggles, but will display the image over them. "(However, the portion of the visual area where imagery appears must still intersect with optical elements of the display system. It is not possible to display an image over a solid angle from a point source unless the projection system can bypass the lenses within the eye.)" ( This piece of technology may allow us watch television or use telephones or computers only by wearing what appears to be vision or sunglasses from outside, while all the magic happens between the lense and the eye.

The Virtual Retinal Display was invented at the University of Washington in 1991. The Development of this technology begun in 1993. Idea was to develop a virtual display the closest possible to the reality picture. It would have color display, high resolution, high quality picture allowing the user see an illusion of an image that is created by the light beam sent directly to the retina. (
By sending the image directly into the eye, the VRD technology allows the person to see the image much clearer then from any possible television screen. It would also consume much less energy because it only uses a microwatt of energy to transmit the image. In addition to all this "good stuff", the privacy of the viewer is guaranteed. (
By now, Microvision Inc. has the exclusive license to commercialize the VRD technology.
  1. Virtual Retinal Display -
  2. VRD Technology -
  3. Virtual Retinal Display -

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Virtual Retinal Display